Candlelight Vigil for Teen Killed by Police Erupts Into Protest

Kimani Gray was shot and killed by two plain-clothes police officers on Saturday night.

Posted: 03/12/2013 01:04 PM EDT

A peaceful candlelight vigil held in remembrance of Kimani Gray, 16, who was shot and killed by police, turned into an angry protest last night in the East Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York.

Gray pointed a gun at two plain-clothes police officers, who then opened fire on him, late Saturday night.

Protesters, who were being called "rioters" in some media outlets, began throwing bottles and refusing to obey the authorities. A small, mostly young crowd broke away from a larger group of about 130 people and trashed a bodega, knocked down fruits from a stand, and also tried to steal a cash register from a Rite Aid. There were no serious injuries reported. 

The New York Times reports:

Witnesses said that dozens of mostly young people marched through the area and overturned garbage cans. They threw bottles and other refuse at police officers, the witnesses said.

[Paul J.] Mr. Browne [the Police Department’s chief spokesman] said the group “trashed” a bodega at Church and Troy Avenues, “knocking all the fruits and vegetables from a stand.” Officers at the scene said a group of young people rampaged through a Rite Aid store on Church Avenue and tried to steal a cash register. At least two bystanders were injured; one was hit in the head with a bottle and hospitalized with a laceration to the head, said Kim Royster, a police spokeswoman. Inside the store, bottles of wine and other products were scattered about the floor.

The vigil was organized by community leaders to bring attention to the shooting late Saturday of Kimani Gray. Two plainclothes officers opened fire on Mr. Gray, 16, after he pulled out a gun and pointed it at them, Mr. Browne said. Witnesses told investigators that the pair had identified themselves as police officers and ordered him to show his hands, Mr. Browne said. Mr. Gray, who was shot in the abdomen and the legs, was pronounced dead at Kings County Hospital Center.

Read full story here

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(Photo: Kimani Gray/Facebook)

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